Events Calendar

Appropriating Play:, Live Streaming, and...

Thursday, December 5, 2019
4:30 pm
FIMS and Nursing Building (FNB)
Room: 4110

"Appropriating Play:, Live Streaming, and Platform Capitalism"

by Charlotte Panneton
with responses from Atle Mikkola Kjøsen and Aidan Warlow is a gaming-oriented, online live-streaming site that enables users to broadcast/stream themselves playing video games and interact with viewers for free and in real-time. Twitch presents itself as a seemingly more democratic, accessible and interest-specific alternative to traditional forms of broadcast media, catering to niche audiences centered around video games and e-sports. However, a critical analysis of Twitch’s operation as a commercial platform reveals certain issues that undercut the celebratory rhetoric that figures Twitch as a user-centric and empowering space for video game communities and independent broadcasters.

This presentation views Twitch as a ‘lean platform’ (Srnicek, 2017), focusing on its ownership structure, its relationship to the video game industry, its use of data, and the ways in which it monetizes user activity. This analysis then identifies three larger major areas of concern arising from these operations: the tendency towards corporate encroachment and monopolization in the game industry and its periphery activities, the intensification of audience commodification, and the positioning of professional streamers as precarious creative labourers.

Faculty of Information and Media Studies
FIMS Communications

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